Judge signing orderThis is the first post in a new series of articles which will discuss how to challenge a Power of Attorney in Hartford and other Connecticut areas. We consider it important to provide information on what to do if someone you know is being taken advantage of by their agent under a Power of Attorney. The goal of the articles in this series is to assist individuals in understanding when a power of attorney can be challenged and what steps to take. It is also our goal to provide information which will help in the selection of an attorney. If you or a loved one need assistance, then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.

We will be addressing several topics over our coming articles. Issues which we will address include:

  • The grounds on which a Power of Attorney may be challenged
  • The need for immediate action when challenging a Power of Attorney
  • Filing Your initial Petition & requesting an Injunction
  • What to expect when litigating the matter
  • The possible remedies when challenging a Power of Attorney

We chose to write about these topics for several reasons. First, there are several grounds on which to challenge the continued validity of a Power of Attorney. These include showing the document was signed under duress, or that the principal lacked mental capacity at the time of the signing. Additional grounds are that the agent is not acting in the best interests of the principal and has breached their fiduciary duty. Second, if you believe an agent is abusing their authority under a Power of Attorney, you must take immediate action with the Probate Court to protect the vulnerable adult. Challenging the Power of Attorney requires formal litigation, therefore, it is always best to retain an experienced attorney. Third, to take action, you will need to file a Petition with the Probate Court and request the Judge order an Injunction. An Injunction is an order from the Probate Judge that will prohibit the use of the Power of Attorney by the agent until the case can be resolved. This will prevent any further damage by the agent. Fourth, it is important to understand what to expect in formal litigation. Litigation requires the initial pleadings to be filed and notice to be given to all parties. Once the Petition is filed, the Court will allow a process of discovery for each party to have an opportunity to gain information and prepare for a trial. Lastly, understanding the remedies one can obtain when challenging the Power of Attorney is important. Remedies may include revocation of the Power of Attorney, appointment of a conservator or guardian, or possibly financial restitution.

Each of the articles in this series is intended to provide clarity on the legal process of challenging the Power of Attorney. Hiring a lawyer to assist you with this type of case is imperative to ensure you are prepared for litigation and understand the procedural requirements. An attorney will help to ensure you can prevent the continued abuse of power by an agent and protect the vulnerable adult. Our Hartford probate lawyers are experienced in handling such matters. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We also service the Connecticut areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, East and West Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.